July 9, 2021

Around the dial

It's Christmas in July at Joanna's Christmas TV History, and while you ought to check out all of the entries so far, I'll single out Wednesday's entry from 1958's Cimarron City, with star George Montgomery and special guest star Dinah Shore, aka Mrs. George Montgomery. 

At Comfort TV, David has a very thoughtful piece on how television needs to be an oasis, a break from the increasing lunacy of the real world. This is something I really identify with, and in fact David very kindly mentioned me in his article. But this is a well-written example of why classic television is so different from television today—and oftentimes, for the better.

Remember The Delphi Bureau? Before it became a short-lived series in 1972-73 (as part of the wheel series The Men), it was a 1972 made-for-TV movie, with the terrific Laurence Luckinbill as a spy on the run, and Cameron Mitchell as the baddie out to get him. Rick takes a look at this watchable pilot in this week's Classic Film & TV Café.

I defy anyone—anyone—to resist an episode of any television series with the title "Invasion of the Earthmen." When it's The Avengers, that makes the episode all the more interesting, and John tells us why it isn't anywhere near as bad as some make it out to be, at Cult TV Blog

The Untouchables remains one of my favorite series (especially the episodes with Bruce Gordon as Frank Nitti), and this week Television's New Frontier: the 1960s looks at the state of the series as the final season begins in 1962, as well as giving us a fascinating, in-depth look at the show's history and its relationship to the facts.

I don't think I exaggerate when I suggest that "The Hitch-Hiker" is one of the most memorable and most popular of Twilight Zone episodes; at Shadow & Substance, Paul goes in-depth, much as Jack does at bare•bones e-zine, and shows how Rod Serling skillfully adapted Lucille Fletcher's radio play into one of the series' most unsettling dramas. Hint: it's not what he does, but what he doesn't do.

The Twilight Zone was just one of the many series with the good fortune to have had an episode or two directed by Richard Donner, who died this week, aged 91. Although he had great big screen success with movies like The Omen, Superman, Lethal Weapon and Scrooged, he left his mark on television not only with TZ, but shows like Have GunWill Travel, Route 66, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Ironside, and so many more. Terence has an appreciation of his career at A Shroud of Thoughts

Finally, I'm a little late with this, but July 1 was "Lost TV Day" at Television Obscurities—find out why Robert chose that date, and follow the links to some fascinating posts on an under-appreciated part of television history. I, of course, approve heartily. TV  

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